Theodore Roosevelt Quotes

The following is a list of quotations attributed to Theodore Roosevelt. Where a source can be verified, it is noted below along with a brief explanation of the setting or the context for that quote. This list includes a number of quotations for which a source has not been verified in Theodore Roosevelt's writings.

The context for many of the quotes included here reflects research that has been conducted throughout the years by curators of the Theodore Roosevelt Collection at Harvard University, which is presented here through a cooperation between Harvard College Library and the Theodore Roosevelt Center. Quotations will be added to this list as staff at both institutions continue their research.

Featured Quote:

We, here in America, hold in our hands the hope of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours if in our eyes the light of high resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men. If on this new continent we merely build another country of great but unjustly divided material prosperity, we shall have done nothing; and we shall do as little if we merely set the greed of envy against the greed of arrogance, and thereby destroy the material well-being of all of us. To turn this Government either into government by a plutocracy or government by a mob would be to repeat on a larger scale the lamentable failures of the world that is dead.
Progressive Principles

Previously Featured Quotes:

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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
This quote is from the Autobiography (1913), p. 327 in the National Edition of the Works.
I'm as strong as a bull moose and you can use me to the limit.
This quote is believed to have originated in a June 1900 letter to Mark Hanna.
Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
This quote is often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, but no known source can be found to verify the attribution.
Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
This quote often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt is actually a West African proverb. Roosevelt writes this in a letter to Henry Sprague on January 26, 1900.
It is true of the Nation, as of the individual, that the greatest doer must also be a great dreamer. Of course, if the dream is not followed by action, then it is a bubble; it has merely served to divert the man from doing something.
Delivered at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, June 21, 1905. Roosevelt was a few months into his second term.
The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.
The quote was part of a speech given at the Colorado Livestock Association in Denver on August 29, 1910.
Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
This quote comes from The Strenuous Life (1900).
Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.
This statement is often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, but no known source can be found to verify the attribution.
Every man owes some [or part] of his time to the upbuilding of the profession to which he belongs. Alternately, “Every man owes a sacred obligation to the profession which gives him his livelihood."
This statement is often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, but no known source can be found to verify the attribution.
I dream of men who take the next step instead of worrying about the next thousand steps.
This statement is often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, but no known source can be found to verify the attribution.
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